Degree Programs - Coastal Carolina University
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Marine Science

Marine science is an interdisciplinary field that employs aspects of biology, chemistry, geology, and physical oceanography/atmospheric science toward the study of the ocean environment. Lecture, laboratory, and field experiences are integrated to provide an outstanding and well-rounded academic program. Within marine science, you may choose to concentrate your studies in one of the following areas: marine biology, coastal geology, marine/environmental chemistry, atmosphere/ocean dynamics, marine analytical technology or marine policy.

In addition to the Bachelor of Science in marine science, minors are offered in coastal geloogy and marine science.

The Student Experience
  • Coastal Carolina University has the largest undergraduate marine science program on the east coast.
  • Department facilities include a lecture/laboratory complex, computer research labs and research vessels. The University owns part of Waties Island, a pristine barrier island used for course activities and student research and that houses the Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies, where students and faculty work on a wide range of projects including coastal geology, environmental education and watershed/environmental quality.
  • Internship opportunities are available at sites such as Ripley’s Aquarium, Huntington Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach State Park and other organizations across the nation.
  • Off-site field courses for students include coral reef ecology held in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, and shark biology at the Bimini Biological Field Station in the Bahamas.
  • Exchange programs provide an opportunity to spend a semester abroad at Deakin University in Australia or many other locations around the world.
  • Students who are residents of Academic Common Market states and who are accepted as marine science majors may qualify for in-state tuition rates.
Beyond the Classroom

Marine Science majors are prepared for a variety of careers including: marine scientist for federal, state and local government and private industry; environmental educator with aquariums, schools, parks and tourism industry; teacher; scientific technician; aquaculturist; aquarist/trainer; and land-use resource planner.


Students will take introductory foundation courses in the sciences (including biology, calculus, chemistry, marine science, physics and statistics); upper-level courses in each of the main sub-disciplines of marine biology, marine chemistry, marine geology and physical oceanography; and upper-level elective courses in an area of emphasis. Examples of upper-level elective courses include: Biology of Marine Mammals, Environmental Ecotoxicology, Coastal Processes, Ecology of Coral Reefs and Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing.

Two major national reports, the Pew Oceans Commission and U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, have documented the critical importance of marine science to our national health and well-being and called for increased efforts in marine science education, research, and funding. This is truly an exciting and dynamic time. Please take a few moments to check our web pages for additional information and we hope to hear from you.


Craig Gilman, Ph.D.
Department Chair

Visit the Department of Marine Science to learn more.